TOA/V: The Living and The Dead

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 13.32.25This programme aired last month but in the midst of the Brexit madness, it seemed to miss its audience. Folks in the Folk Horror Revival group mentioned it enthusiastically so having caught up with series three of Black Sails we were casting about for a new show and decided to give The Living and The Dead a try. Five of the six episodes in, I’m intrigued and crossing my fingers that they’ll be able to bring it to some kind of satisfying conclusion. Not necessarily that I expect all the answers, but — well, there’s a lot going on.

Great cast of folks familiar and new. It does have a terrific folk horror vibe. The Hallow’s Eve costumes were dead creepy! There are great eerie moments in every episode. I can’t remember when I last had so many moments of genuine hair-raising spookiness! There’s an unexpected element in the late 19th century setting that really intrigues and I’m not sure how it will payoff, but I can’t wait to watch the last episode tonight.

Also? Fantastic soundtrack by The Insects which you can get now. As always, check out all the overlooked gems at Todd’s blog.


Recorded Live: Fur Baby

I will be busy grading today — probably all day — so if you need entertainment, here’s a live recording from yesterday’s 2nd Sunday Open Mic at the Arts Center in Troy, NY. Yes, I really read this story on Mother’s Day. A bit on the dark and creepy side, so if you don’t like that —

Thanks as always to Nancy Klepsch and Dan Wilcox, our fab hosts and the folks new and regular who show up to share their work. I highly recommend it.

If you want to read the original story, drop by Spelk Magazine, thanks Gary Duncan. Sign up to get a little flash fiction in your inbox every day.

Find Out What Happened Next!

2015-06-28 14.09.24Okay, there’s my attempt at a crazy click bait headline. Will it work? I don’t know. I can’t say I care these days. I am too busy to bother trying and none of it seems to work, so I will labour away in obscurity and do what makes me happy, or as Dorothy says,

But I shall stay the way I am
Because I do not give a damn.

If you are among the select group who find some interest in my shenanigans here’s what’s up:

SPELK: My story ‘Fur Baby’ is up at Spelk Fiction today. Thanks, Gary, for giving a place to this disturbing little tale of folklore horror and crime. Sign up to get a little tale every day from this great site.

HÁVAMÁL: The latest translations of verses from the Eddic poem are up on my History Witch page at Witches & Pagans. It’s chock full of medieval advice from the viking perspective. I’m slowly making my way through the poem, offering commentary as I go along to put the words into context. When I get to the end, I will doubtless gather them up in a book.

RED TENT: I will be speaking and/or reading at the Red Tent event tomorrow at 2 in Schenectady. Join us and share your favourite books. I will bring a couple of my own along with me.

WRITE 4 A DAY: The next one is on Sunday. I am really looking forward to it — well, I always do, but this month I have so much to write and it has been far too busy around here.

FOX SPIRIT announces their new young readers line: FENNEC. Give them a look!

TEETH: I had a wisdom tooth pulled this week, which I don’t recommend unless it’s unavoidable. Also, despite insurance that and the crowns to come are making me glad that I am getting a refund for taxes. With the elimination of professional development funds at our institution it’s made it even more of a challenge to keep up my professional life. With Leeds this summer and a bunch of very useful exhibits on for my research I will be doing some travel beyond Scotland which will eat away even more funds. There’s also —

SLOVENIA: I’ve been invited to the Alibi Crime Writing conference in Slovenia this autumn and I am delighted. They take care of everything once I get there, but I need to get there. Would it be cheeky to do a fundraiser for my flight? Give me ten bucks and I’ll send you a postcard from Slovenia? Take a picture you get the only copy of? Tchotchkes? I don’t know. Pondering.

Making my escape in about a month: can’t wait and yet there’s so much to do before I jet away again…

Throwback Thursday: Krampus


I was Krampus before Krampus was cool:

“When Little Joe the Krampus Met.” Digital chapbook (reprint) 4 Dec 2013. Printed chapbook, Dec 2003. Hear me read it here. Cover image and design (and my introduction to the Krampus) by The joey Zone.

Shenanigans at #WFCon2015

Actually the shenanigans began before the con because the lovely Maura arrived to spend a little time here first. And I am already kicking myself because I kept forgetting to have her sign my books and now she has already departed. Boo! Super big thanks to Debi for (as usual) sorting out the room and making everything run smoothly. Gracious thanks to Broad Universe, especially Terri Bruce. Great to see so many people I don’t get to see that often (like Nancy and John) and to make new acquaintances of cool folks like Katja and Deborah).

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Hanging out in Woodstock, spending all her money.

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Maura looking askance as if I had anything to do with all the cool stuff she decided she needed.

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We went up to Olana, too. It was impossible lovely weather for November.

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Then we headed up to Saratoga where our horse naturally won — I mean, for World Fantasy.

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Showing off my new jacket with the weird pockets. I had a panel in the first slot and a reading immediately after. All done and most people hadn’t even arrived.

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Devouring lion.

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Lime ginger martinis at Karavalli’s.

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I managed to drop my tiny little lap top right on my toe.

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Kathe Koja’s intoxicating literature event. Note that she’s reading Riddley Walker there!

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Discovered some fine foxy art whilst walking to breakfast with Nancy and Deborah. How could I resist?

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Delia Sherman & Ellen Kushner’s Tremontaine party: by far the most stylish event I attended. And I’m not just saying that because I won a prize.

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Look at those cakes! Kathleen Jenning’s art looks just lovely. To learn more about the Tremontaine series, hop over to Serial Box (click this picture).

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Cruel to serve this to writers, surely? 😉

Representing the Fox Spirit skulk! Me with Haralambi Markov.

Representing the Fox Spirit skulk! Me with Haralambi Markov.

World Fantasy Schedule

I will be heading up to Saratoga for World Fantasy with the lovely Maura. We’ll be rooming with the equally lovely Debi. If you are not among the early arrivals you’ll miss my panel which is Thursday at 2pm:

City Center 2B Magic is the essential ingredient of Epic Fantasy… except when it isn’t.
Can a story be Epic Fantasy if there isn’t a spell hurling mage? Do all quests need a wizard? The panel will discuss how magic is used in Epic Fantasy and some of the texts that do things a little differently.
Paul Di Filippo (mod.), Max Gladstone, Kate Laity, Amal El-Mohtar, Karl Schroeder

As I neither write nor even read much epic fantasy this will be…interesting. I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing after that, other than of course catching up with friends, schmoozing at the BU Rapid Fire Reading (Broadway 1 3pm-4pm) and you all know the con default: the hotel bar. There are all kinds of interesting events though this sounds like a particular winner:

Friday 3:00
Suite 458 Hilton
The Intoxication of Fantasy
“This book made me drunk,” Cory Doctorow wrote about Under the Poppy. What books or stories do the same for you — send you reeling, knock you out with their wordplay or invention? Kathe Koja will read from a selection of such intoxicating books — bring your own favorite! Intoxicants will be both read and served.
Kathe Koja

And of course, I’ll be going to this:

Sat 10:00

City Center 2B

A Tribute to Graham Joyce
Gillian Redfearn (mod.), Jeffrey Ford, Christopher Golden, Gary Wolfe, Rio Youers

See the full schedule here.

The Pallid Mist

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Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.

Johnny, oh Johnny, don’t walk in the mist
And don’t share the secrets of girls you have kissed.
Your heart, forged from marble so cold and so rare,
Makes you love ‘em and leave ’em without a care.

Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.

Jeannie, oh Jeannie, don’t trust his words,
Don’t let him kiss you whatever you heard.
Your heart is too soft and too tender for him
He’ll love you and leave you on any whim.

Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.

But Johnny did kiss her and promise her love
And Jeannie did trust him to heaven above.
He took her gifts from her and left her behind,
But Jeannie’s a girl with a venomous mind.

Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.

When Johnny walked home from another girl’s
Contented and pleased with his social whirl,
While Jeannie was waiting in the white mist
With a knife in her hand and curses she hissed.

Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.

Jeannie she smiled and she crooked her finger
And Johnny decided that he might well linger;
“Kisses I steal are the sweetest ones, true,
And I never purloined one sweeter than you.”

Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.

“Johnny, you know that I love you right well,
Though you set me aside and sent me to hell.
But I have a gift for your heart that is true,
This silver blade I have saved just for you.”

Follow me into the pallid mist
And I will give you a lover’s kiss;
Should the sun rise before you flee
You’ll have to bide a while with me.